Private faces in public spaces : Hannah Arendt's "The life of the mind" : towards an ethics of personal responsibility / by Bethania Assy
Includes bibliographical references (p. 325-354)
Although Hannah Arendt has never written a system on morality, this dissertation claims that there is a crucial ethical domain throughout her writings able to fulfill a gap left to ethics in post-totalitarian societies. Such ethics is mainly based on Arendt's account of the three faculties of the mind, namely: thinking, willing, and judging. These faculties are linked to the notion of uniqueness, personal responsibility, and acting consistently. The Arendtian public in-between space is named as an ethical space of appearance. On the contrary to some Arendtian interpreters—who asseverate the gap between the life of the mind and the notions of ethics, action, and responsibility—this dissertation claims there is a fundamental ethical approach based on Arendt able to build a bridge over the abyss between the traditional moral philosophy and a world where, after the advent of holocaust, “everything became possible.” Meanwhile, it brings forth the reconstruction of the pathos between the activities of vita activa and activities of vita contemplativa in Arendt's oeuvre.In spite of the unpredictability of the outcomes of our actions, acting as rightly as possible towards others and being responsible for our actions belong to the luminosity of the world, which we share. Thus, this dissertation deals with an ethics based on the visibility of our words and deeds, in which, despite our best intentions, appearance is ethically relevant. In this ethics of personal responsibility stands a fundamental dimension of choice able to bridge the self and the world, consciousness and experience. The ethics of personal responsibility is an ethics of appearance that takes into account three levels of responsibility: the choice of responsibility towards ourselves, namely, to how we make our presence into the world; the choices of responsibility to judge; and the choice of responsibility to the world through the consistence of our actions and the durability of the world.
Record last modified: 2018-05-16 16:15:00
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